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You will need both a new transformer and a new board. I'm off to work now, but can reply later.
Neutrals do not need to be in any order. I doubt a 10VA will effectively replace a 40 VA. It is not powerful enough. You could certainly try it. Worst that can happen is it will burn out because it's not high enough VA rating. There should always be a shut off switch (light switch) for the furnace.
Could be a bad switch shorted to ground. Or a dead short somewhere else in the high voltage side (120 volt). Yes boards should have voltage to L1 which is a hot. But this will come through the shut off switch first.
Yes, gold is hot, silver is neutral.
Yes, it shouldnt do that. Replace the switch.
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